Back in a 2013 interview, Karl Malone surprisingly chose to select Scottie Pippen over Michael Jordan at the Small Forward position on his all-time starting five.
Michael Jordan is considered to be the greatest player in NBA history. With a decorated resume like his, it is very difficult to not consider him the GOAT. Professional basketball players, especially the ones who played with and against him, know for a fact just how dominating MJ was on as well as off the court.
Considered as a basketball god, there would be no one out of their mind to leave out His Airness from their all-time starting five list. However, Karl Malone is one of the small group of people to not feature Mike in their all-time starting five.
Karl Malone explains why he selected Scottie Pippen over Michael Jordan on his all-time starting five list
Malone, a 2-time MVP, is one of the most accomplished players in league history to not win a ring. Even though it was Michael Jordan himself, who was the one who defeated “The Mailman” and his Jazz team in the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals, Karl snubbed Air Jordan off his all-time starting five.
For someone who is second on the league’s points leader, Malone humbly didn’t even select himself on his own all-time team. As a matter of fact, he left out some big names like Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal along with Michael Jordan. Rather, the Hall-Of-Famer selected:
“Okay, I’m not going to be in it. My all-time starting five, I got to have Wilt Chamberlain at centre, got to have John Stockton as my point guard, got to have LeBron James. I’m going to put LeBron James at my power forward position. He could be a tough matchup…Now, I got to put Oscar Robertson at my two-guard.”
“My other guy…I’mma shock the world. I have to put Scottie Pippen as the three. Let me tell you why. Scottie Pippen led the team in every statistical category when he was there without Michael Jordan.”
Scottie Pippen isn’t a bad pick at all. Pip is one of the greatest two-way players ever. It was because of him that MJ was able to win his 6 rings, reaching the pinnacle of the game. However, considering the options available (Michale Jordan, Kobe Bryant, DR. J, among many more) for Karl, Scottie doesn’t exactly stand out.